The stamp is getting a facelift

Royal Mail has revealed a new and improved stamp that will eventually replace all stamps in the UK. Whilst the iconic image of the Queen’s head will remain, a barcode will be added alongside it bringing letters into the digital world.

Four new British Queen Elizabeth II definitive stamps with integrated bar codes were issued Feb. 1.  

Why have stamps changed?

Royal Mail state that the introduction of the barcode will increase efficiencies operationally, add security whilst also making mail fun and creative.

How will the new stamp work?

The barcode is similar to a QR code, meaning it can be read both vertically and laterally, speeding up scanning. The traditional barcode in comparison can only be read in one direction.

Each barcode will have a ‘digital twin’ which is connected by the Royal Mail app. You can use the app to scan the code uncovering either further information or video greetings. Currently, the only video option is to play an animation of Shaun the Sheep, however, more videos will eventually be added.

What will they look like?

As previously mentioned, the barcode will appear next to the commonly known stamp. The barcode will be in the same colour as the image of the Queen. The barcode must remain intact in order for the stamp to be valid.

When will the new stamp come into effect?

From 31st March 2022, you will be able to ‘Swap Out’ old stamps for the new barcoded ones. The old stamps will be slowly phased out and will remain usable up until 31st January 2023.

After this date, the use of a non-barcoded stamps will be liable to a surcharge (it will be the same as if postage isn’t paid).

Will anything personal be stored on the barcode?

No personal data will be on the barcode, therefore negating any worry regarding this being seen or stolen.

We can’t wait to see what Royal Mail comes up with to utilise this technology and enhance customer experience further.